Tyler Chelone, a 25-year-old Navy officer, is still fighting for his life after his motorcycle collided with a truck near Jamul in San Diego County Aug. 31. According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chelone was riding his 2008 Suzuki GSXR 600 motorcycle north on Honey Springs Road near Lyons Valley Road when his motorcycle crossed the double yellow lines and collided with a GMC Sonoma pickup. The driver of the pickup, a 76-year-old man, was uninjured.
Chelone was thrown from the motorcycle and suffered severe injuries, including one to the left side of his head. The news report describes Chelone as “safe a rider as there could be” and that he always followed traffic rules and regulations. The Navy and Marine Corps in recent years have been placing a strong emphasis on motorcycle rider safety after a record 50 sailors and Marines nationwide have been killed in motorcycle accidents this year.
I offer my best wishes for a speedy recovery to Tyler Chelone who was reportedly getting ready to start his training as a Navy SEAL in November.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), since 1997, motorcycle rider fatalities have increased each year. And after 2003 they have continued to increase at an even faster rate. The number of riders and motorcycle owners has also increased significantly, the federal agency reports.
The police report states that Chelone crossed the double yellow line and hit the pickup truck. I would urge his family members to consult with a reputed Southern California personal injury lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents, to find out what could have made an experienced motorcycle rider, such as Chelone, lose control of his vehicle like that. A skilled attorney will look into whether there was a dangerous condition on the roadway, which caused the accident. If such a hazardous roadway condition existed, then the family may be able to file a claim with the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway. Please remember that in California there is a six-month filing deadline for claims against government agencies.